Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Winecology: Holiday Feasting Part 2

Later during our holiday weekend in Detroit, Maya's brother cooked her father's Goan Chicken Curry recipe. The meal was a hit. Of course, curry and wine matching can be a challenge. Fortunately, we brought along a couple of Rieslings that were fit for the occasion.

Chateau Grand Traverse, Johannisberg Riesling - Dry, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan 2003
Traverse City, Old Mission Peninsula's largest city, is located in Northeastern Michigan about 250 miles from Detroit. Chateau Grand Traverse has been family-owned and operated for 30 years with a fantastic (albeit below the radar) track record of producing elegant Alsace-variety wines. The O'Keefe family has recently branched into the wines of Burgundy - including Pinot Noir, Gamay and Chardonnay. C.G.T. enjoys the Old Mission Peninsula's ideal growing conditions that include "the moderating effects of the deep waters of Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay". The family also maintains state of the art winemaking equipment that produces some 20,000 cases per year.

This Johannisberg Riesling was nearly colorless with a slight green tint. The simple nose of pears was pleasing. The wine had a medium body that maintains an appreciable balance of fruits and liveliness. Granny smith apples and grapefruits were abundant on the palette. A moderate length finish. An effort resembling classic Riesling that was clean and tart enough to balance out the pungent curry spices.
Rating - 8.5 out of 10
Price - $11

Chateau Ste. Michelle - Dr. Loosen 'Eroica', Columbia Valley, Washington 2000
I was pleased to stumble upon the 2000 vintage of this new classic. In Eroica's short existence it has racked up several honors and top wine scores - including a
mention on Wine Spectator's Top 100 list 5 years running. The current 2003 release sits at number 68 on the well-publicized list. The wine is a collaboration of Washington's Ste. Michelle mega-producer and Germany's esteemed Dr. Loosen estate. Grapes are sourced from Washington's Yakima and Columbia valley. Both American and German winemakers are involved in production from vineyard selection to bottling.

Eroica was a colorful light gold in the glass. The nose was powerful and fruit forward and had layers of floral notes. In the mouth the powerful flavors continued with apples, pears and citrus fruit. The body was fresh. A lasting and zesty finish yielded some appealing minerality. A stellar wine that was more concentrated, robust and flavorful then its Michigan predecssor.
Rating - 9.0 out of 10
Price - $21